Littlely makes a big impact with otherworldly paintings

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

Only working with watercolours, Emily Littlely’s abstract portraits feature a kaleidoscope of colours; her ethereal characters suspended in an otherworldly environment.

Painting has always been part of the 20-year-old’s life, her parents having encouraged her creativity from a young age.

“My mum is probably my biggest inspiration,” the artist said. “When I was little, my mum used to take out the paints every single day and we’d sit there and paint for hours.

“She owns The Scrapbook House, so I’ve always been surrounded by crafts.

“And having such supportive parents, they’d tell you that every single piece of work is the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen.”

Littlely’s first big break into the art world came in 2013, while she was still in high school.

During Year 11 at Nagle Catholic College, Littlely set up a website and began selling her artwork around the world.

However, she became inundated with commissions and her passion suddenly became a chore.

“I found (commissions) very constricting,” she said.

“You had to do exactly what they wanted you to do and it’s always a certain style. I was doing it so much it was more of a chore than something I loved, so I don’t do commissions any more.”

Littlely is more than a talented painter — she is also musically gifted and was one quarter of Geraldton indie band The INKS.

Forming as high school students, The INKS quickly attracted a large fan base and were lucky enough to open for Cold Chisel when they stopped in Geraldton in 2014.

But as everyone went off to study at university, Littlely said it became too difficult to continue playing together.

After a year in Perth studying psychology and philosophy at the University of Western Australia, Littlely said she missed Geraldton and her family and decided to move back home.

Now working full-time as a receptionist, Littlely said she was happy creating art on the side.

“It’s such a therapeutic way to get your creativity out there,” she said.

“If I don’t paint for a while, I feel like it’s all bottled up and I have all these ideas but I’m not doing anything with them.

“It’s nice to just get them out, and it’s really satisfying when a piece works out the way you want it to.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails